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Chicago’s Law Firms Go for Space Efficiencies

In a busy environment for law firm leases over the 12 months that ended June 30, Chicago’s office landlords saw cost-conscious legal tenants contract their spaces more often than they expanded them, CBRE said. Contractions accounted for 44% of all law firm leases citywide, compared to 27.9% of leases represented by expansions.

“Law firms remain very active in Chicago, as they continue to use new lease opportunities to drive space efficiencies,” said Todd Lippman with CBRE’s law firm practice group. “With these moves and renovations of existing spaces, firms are exploring new designs and space configurations to not only deliver cost savings, but also for recruitment purposes.”

With a legal labor pool approaching 75,000, Chicago is one of the nation’s largest markets, “but it has become more competitive,” Lippman added. “Law firms are discovering that real estate can be a valuable tool to recruit and retain top tier talent.”

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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